tv [untitled] October 2, 2011 7:00am-7:30am PDT
? supervisor cohen: thank you. next speaker please. next speakers will be ramona wa llace, summer, lohan, juanita price, francisco de costa. >> good morning, supervisors. my name is juanita price. i am one of those people that posted a positive review of first resort on yelp. i find it interesting, looking at the ordinance, things happening to do with yelp, looking at the reviews that people did were negative, and how those were actually false advertising. a lot of the people that posted
there posted unbelievable things that happened. my experience at first resort was very positive. i was part of a post-abortion counseling session. i did not feel judged, put upon in any kind of way. i would urge you to vote no on this legislation. supervisor cohen: thank you. next speaker please. mr. de costa? >> supervisors, this topic is something i deal with because when people are in need of help, we have to make a decision.
you know i am not a woman, i am a man. as a man, or if you are a husband, or if you are a significant other and you stand by your woman, you have to make some hard decisions. one of the things that is missing in this legislation -- i am not against this legislation. if the town hall meetings or some real forum or hearing has been held on the subject. you have heard from those organizations that give help to our women. if some of our women have to terminate life, they allow it.
however, besides the hearings, how much resources and money has the city and city hall set aside to help our women? especially our women of color. std's, pregnancies, so on and so forth, are well known to everybody. i hope you have reviewed it. as i man, this is what i have to say. thank you very much. supervisor avalos: for those of you sitting on the side, if you could sit in the middle, if folks better sitting in chairs could perhaps make it more accessible, moving into the center. thank you. >> ellen schaffer, co-director
of the trust women's campaign. we appreciate your leadership and attention to this important issue. we salute our colleagues who are here to mobilize public opposition to this practice of crisis pregnant to centers. supervisors, a first resort is an organization dedicated to an abortion-free world that intentionally advertises itself as providing abortion services. they take out paid ads on google that show up when you search for abortion and san francisco. quotes on their website, refer to people to have chosen to terminate the pregnancy. they are not alone in these efforts. as a "new york times"
editorial, 30 years after roe v wade identified a woman's rights to make her own decision and legalized abortion nationwide, a new drive from anti-abortion fortress who refused to except the law of the land have a pair of women's ability to exercise that right, including finding ways to delay access to abortion. we are concerned these deceptive practices are to mislead the most of the honorable. poor women had an unintended pregnancy rate five times that of higher income women and an unintended birthrate six times higher in 2008. our campaign is confident that -- confidence and women will make the rich wises for themselves if they can find accurate information. san francisco's groundbreaking legislation will help to see that they get it. supervisor cohen: thank you. next speaker please.
>> good morning, supervisors. my name is mona lisa wallace. i am on the board for the national organization of women, national, california chapters. on behalf of my organization, i want to thank malia cohen for this ordinance. this is fundamentally a false advertising consumer protection issue. an impact on consumers is tangible. it is the difference between taking a pill or having an invasive procedure. there is no time to delay. the resources already exist. there is the bay area project. there is planned parenthood. we have the resources to advise women through the full natural spectrum of childbirth, and that
includes birth, medically- indicated miscarriages, abortion. the need to protect women from false advertising is very important, especially considering that in the united states, we have over 10,000 pre-teens who are impregnated every year in the country. the difference between getting her a pill or an invasive procedure is absolutely urgent and important. i urge you to vote yes on this ordinance. supervisor cohen: thank you. next speaker please. >> my name is summer lohan. we partner with an organization called change.org to get support for this ordinance. i just wanted to stand here in
support of the legislation and say, at its core, this is a consumer rights issue. if a business does not offer a service, it should not be able to advertise for it. i also wanted to share my experience with first resort. 20 minutes before all of the clinics closed, i asked first resort to ask what kind of services they provide. the woman who answered immediately ask for my name and number. she said twice that they offered abortions. although she said that she did not know if it was a pill or surgical procedure because she did not know. i called the oakland and redwood city clinics and both times she answered the phone and told me that those offices were closed. the next morning, i received a phone call to set up my appointment. the woman who called said that first resort does not offer abortions.
when i was told that i was told twice by somebody named amber that they did, she said that nobody by that name had worked there. she suggested that perhaps i had down the wrong number. they are clearly lying to individuals over the phone. supervisor avalos: supervisor mar has a question. supervisor mar: i am looking at the crisis pregnancy center web site. even a first resort's own web site -- i want to ask you a national trends, declines of planned pregnancy clinics, secular clinics, versus new ones like first resort, that have religious language and other things on their website.
could you talk about the trend of the decline in funding for planned parenthood, another secular clinics, and then the rise of the so-called cpc's? >> as we all know, congress has made defunding planned parenthood one of their main issues. they practically shut down the government because they did not want to fund planned parenthood. this has been a core issue in many states. even though it has passed on the federal level, many states have to handle the issue. planned parenthood is routinely picketed. they are having their funding pulled from them. tax moneys are going to crisis program centers. i am not sure on the status of the ones in california, but there was an initiative with
george bush. the special with a house of representatives, they are encouraging taxpayers not to support planned parenthood. supervisor cohen: thank you. i have two more speaker cards left. if there are any more members of the public, please get in line. supervisor avalos: if people are in the overflow room, please come upstairs. thank you. >> good morning. espinosa jackson. is it morning or afternoon? good morning.
i was not going to speak until a young lady stood up here and said that the first resort offers abortions for young girls at 13. that is a lie. i am the mother of six, proud of. i have 22 grandchildren, 44 great-grandchildren. one of my great-grandchildren at 13 had a daughter. she was not told to abort because of the fact that she was 13. and i am a christian. it is not because of my religion. if it was because of my religion, she would not have had the baby. you brought up a good question, sweetheart, about declining monies. i am seeing all over the place -- and i am asking you all. if you have not been to the clinic itself, to not just be taking what people are saying. if you do not go in and as
question yourself, you will never know. i am asking you to vote no on this legislation. >supervisor cohen: thank you. megan dorn. >> good afternoon, supervisors. i want to thank supervisor cohen for your support on this issue. i visited first resort as part of our research project into their practices. i want to really two important things i cannot of my experience. the first is that i would highly discourage not to attend the counseling session with my friend. she was the one who thought she was pregnant. when i asked to attend with her to support her, they encouraged her to stay in the waiting room. it was only after my extreme insistence that they allowed me in with her. we also relate -- received a counseling session from one of
the speakers that was here today. when my friend asked about receiving an abortion are getting a referral for an abortion, the counselors said that she could not do it because they are so dangerous. i want to state that for the record. she said that she could not refer for an abortion because they are so dangerous. as we know, abortions are one of the safest medical procedures in the country. this is soft and -- a false and misleading information. i would urge you all to vote yes on this. supervisor elsbernd: i have met with some folks on this side and i wonder if you could about for a couple of things, in terms of accuracy. when you went in, were you given a form that you had to sign, perhaps your friend, that what is or what is not done at first resort? >> this visit was about 18 months ago, so forgive my memory on the situation. i did not fill out a form.
i believe my friend was asked to, i cannot verify what was said. supervisor avalos: if you could talk about the advertising that you saw that came from outside of first resort? >> i am familiar with some of the internet searches that have come up. they have been alluded to before. when you google abortion in san francisco, 1st resort is the first thing that comes up. >> at the time that -- supervisor avalos: at the time that you went, what were the advertisements of first resort? >> this was part of my research for my organization, but i did not look at their advertisement. i knew where i was going. supervisor cohen: thank you. next speaker please. >> my name is jennifer messiner.
i did not plan to speak today, but after hearing everybody, i needed to add something that was lacking in the discussion. i think we are assuming that women with unexpected pregnancies are walking into places like first resort and been disappointed that a dropper abortions. but how many people are walking into places that to cover abortions, feeling not supported, surprised that they do not have as many resources and how to carry their child to term? i just want to ask you to consider that women who have unexpected pregnancies have a range of where they are at and what they are expecting in terms of services and how that might impact your legislation and what they expect when they go to any center and what they are looking for and what each might provide or not provide. supervisor cohen: thank you. next speaker please. >> my name is a valerie doyle.
i am the director of programs for first resort. as others have stated, communications with our clients are clear, honest, and appropriate. i do want to address, a young woman claimed she called first resort at 5:40 p.m. and spoke with amber and said, with abortion services do you offer? amber is not on our staff. you probably called our third- party contractor, our answering service. she also said that when she spoke with a person from our staff first thing in the morning, it was corrected that when a client calls and says we want an abortion, we immediately inform the client that we do not perform or refer for abortion. when a client comes into our office, she is presented with a consent form and once again week disclosed that we do not perform or refer for abortion.
our communications are clear, honest, and appropriate. i would not purchase a pit, nor with my board of directors, and being deceptive or misleading in any way. we maintain a high level of professionalism and treat women with dignity and respect. and respecting their toys at a crisis time. i ask that you vote no on this ordinance and we continue our uninterrupted with heavy-handed tactics from local government and those who have a preference for the abortion debate. supervisor cohen: thank you. next speaker please. >> my name is emily lohan. my sister spoke a few week minutes ago. i have done investigations of first resort. i wanted to provide some information that we have found out. the first resort, in their
statement of purpose, fought with the state, says that their mission is to make an abortion- free world. however, i went to google and searched for get an abortion, san francisco. the second advertisement was for first resort. i find that to be deceptive. i received an e-mail earlier in the year subjected urging prayers needed. the header of the ems as that creating a culture of life was. why was wondering why women who would take at planned parenthood would have an abortion would call an anti-abortion organization. i believe it is because of the deceptive advertising. they also said they were not affiliated with national avert -- organizations. however, issues for life put up billboards in open for african- american women.
on the contact list, they are listed as a resource for pregnant women. also, if he called their 1-800 number, it is a resource number for those women who are pro- life. this national number only refers to pro-life clinics. i spoke to and the minister this morning and she said in order for us to refer, the have to be 100 percent pro-life. i support this legislation and i hope that you do, too. supervisor cohen: thank you. next speaker please. thank you, everyone, who took a timeout to lend their voices to a very heated debate. i also just want to remind people of the spirit and letter of the legislation is simple, to prevent pregnancy centers from purposefully and knowingly making misleading statements.
this is a consumer rights issue. this has little to do with where people are on the political spectrum, if they are in favor, pro-life, pro-choice. if passed, this would hold all actors accountable. those members are also a part of the planned parenthood community. so this is not a piece of legislation that is ill-spirited or looking to smoke out, push any kind of political agenda. colleagues, to it -- thank you for taking time to listen to this public comment. once again, i asked for your support on this ordinance. supervisor avalos: thank you. this item is before us. supervisor mar? supervisor mar: i wanted to thank everyone for testifying. i know the various doctors from san francisco general and other
the first testified, from the many people that testified about the need for more clinics, more support for women's reproductive rights, whatever they choose, is so important for our communities. i also want to say that i agree with the slogan, protect women's choices, which i see on many of you in the audience. i think this measure -- although one person claimed it was a violation of first amendment rights -- seems to me is the opposite. it is really promoting -- opposing misleading and inaccurate information. the most important thing for the public's help is for women and families to have the most accurate health and permission possible -- information possible. first resort or any other clinic is providing accurate information, what do you have to be afraid of? my feeling is i am supportive of the national organization of
women and planned parenthood, and many of the groups that are simply asking for a reasonable measure of stopping false advertising and promoting the best possible options for women in our communities. i would like to be added as a co-author of this legislation. supervisor elsbernd: i am not sure if this is a question for the sponsor or city attorney. one of the points made in public comment, which also flushes with some of the press around us when it was first introduced, the notion that this is modeled on some other cities that have adopted the ordinance. the question i have, the key difference, and this legislation goes to the lessons facilities. i wonder why all the other cities only focused on the license, and why san francisco does not have the exception for licensed?
>> deputy city attorney. supervisors, the city attorney's office is well aware of the ordinances in those other cities you are referring to. i think new york city, baltimore, and others. this is not modeled after those ordnances. instead, this address is false advertising by limited pregnancy service centers. in dealing with false advertising, as opposed to having a broad-based posting requirement, as those ordnances did. the ordinance more appropriately should capture both licensed and unlicensed medical centers. supervisor elsbernd: a discussion point that was not in your memo that i thought of that i was curious about, following up on this license issue. as a licensed facility, are
there additional state requirements imposed on them, versus unlicensed? >> the state's prohibition on false and misleading advertising applies to medical facilities centers as well as any other business. there is also a separate provision on false advertising by licensed medical professionals. supervisor elsbernd: so walk me through the pre-emption argument then. if we have state law on this point, what more are we doing with this ordinance that is not covered by state law? >> what this ordinance does that is not covered by state law is two things. first, it makes clearer and the end of the release to the court,
if the court finds false and misleading advertising. is much more specific than state law. in addition, in a section that is not in the business code 17500, the false advertising statute, the ordinance requires a letter be sent 10 days before filing suit with an opportunity for the limited services pregnancy center to cure any false or misleading advertising before a suit is filed. that is a provision that is not in the state law. supervisor elsbernd: ok. colleagues, i will be dissenting on this. after reading the memo from the city attorney, it was clear that we needed to have established for us today some sort of legislative record demonstrating false and misleading advertising, demonstrating the evidence. and not so much nationally. we are the san francisco board
of supervisors. we needed to see a presentation of that within sanfrancisco. we have two facilities within san francisco. one of the facilities, there was not an ounce of evidence. nothing has been submitted about them. frankly, i came in here thinking that there would be an abundance of things on them because they were the unlicensed one. regarding the licensed one, 90 percent of the comments were based on yelp reviews. google searching -- i did that myself, and it comes up. but i do not think that warrants the city asking for an ordinance. i recognize there are some key differences -- and there are
differences. i very much recognize that. but the legislative record here, to me, is empty, and we would not be able to successfully defend this in court. i do not want to see us pursue this and have thus lose. so i will need a roll call on the motion. supervisor avalos: thank you, supervisor elsbernd. i am wholeheartedly in support of a woman's right to choose. i looked at the memo that we got from the city attorney. i was expecting that we would have more information about what kind of advertising we see in san francisco before us, but did not see that. i think it puts at risk our ability -- since we do not have a record -- to prevail in court,
if there is an appeal on this legislation. but i do believe -- i need to see evidence for myself whether there is value. i was wondering why we were getting yelp produce more than anything. just like when i pick a restaurant, i do not always pick those reviews to be gospel. wondering that i would like to do, and i hate to delay, but can we have another hearing where we can get more information to do that? i would love to be able to support legislation supporting a woman's right to choose, but i cannot tell actually what the experience here isa